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NY Dealer Sues Vivid Collection, GIA

Aug 22, 2005 8:31 PM   By Jeff Miller, Jeanette Goldman
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(Rapaport...August 22, 2005) In a lawsuit charging misrepresentation of diamond quality, court documents show that diamond dealer Max Pincione, former managing director of Harry Winston, sued Vivid Collection LLC and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA.) Pincione's brief alleges that parties at Vivid Collection paid parties at GIA for upgrading two diamond certificates in 2001. The New York County clerk's office assigned the case on April 21, 2005, and lists defendants as the GIA, Ali Khazeneh, Moty Spector (along with Spector's Vivid Collection.)

GIA's spokesman, Alex Angelle, told Rapaport News that due to the nature of a pending lawsuit what he could say was that GIA along with a number of others were served "and [it] contains allegations regarding two diamonds, but it is important to note that GIA and others have filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit."

Litigation is ongoing according to Angelle and Pincione's attorney, Stephen Hans.

"GIA denies the allegations and will vigorously defend itself," Angelle said.

Hans told Rapaport that "what has already been filed and done is totally changed." He said that there is a new sense of accountability and legal theories, which will "cause defendants to rethink" their response to lawsuit.

Pincione contends in court brief that he sold one diamond ring, purchased from Vivid Collection of which had been certified by GIA. Pincone's customer returned the ring saying it was not of the quality stated in the GIA certification. The lawsuit seeks five judgements of $50 million each arising from seven causes of action, and $150 million in punitive damages.

Should parties not reach agreement, the next scheduled hearing in Supreme Court is October 11, 2005 (date subject to change.)

Rapaport will follow developments of the case as warranted.
Tags: GIA, Harry Winston
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